The United States Hockey League today announced the players named to the 2012-13 USHL All-Rookie Team as determined by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
The USHL All-Rookie Team recognizes players 18 or younger who are competing in their first full USHL season. Those honored include forwards Jake Guentzel (Sioux City Musketeers), Tony Calderone (Sioux Falls Stampede), Vinni Lettieri (Lincoln Stars), Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers), defensemen Gavin Bayreuther (Fargo Force), Michael Brodzinski (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Gustav Olofsson (Green Bay Gamblers), and goaltender Cal Petersen (Waterloo Black Hawks).
Seven of the eight players named to the USHL All-Rookie Team are eligible for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft.
Jake Guentzel (F), Sioux City Musketeers
The Woodbury, Minnesota native was recently named the 2012-13 USHL Rookie of the Year after finishing sixth in USHL scoring with 73 points (29g, 44a) in 60 regular season games. He put together a 21-game point streak (16g, 17a) to end the season, tying a USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) record. His 29 goals tied for 12th in the League and his 11 power play tallies equaled the fourth most scored this season. Guentzel is a prospect for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft and is committed to play college hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha following his USHL career.
Tony Calderone (F), Sioux Falls Stampede
The first overall pick in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft had a huge impact for the Stampede as he suited up for all 64 regular season games and was second on the team with 29 goals. He helped lead Sioux Falls to a Western Conference regular season title and a team record 48 victories. The team was 19-3-1 in games that Calderone scored a goal, and he netted five game-winners. He recorded multi-goal games on five occasions, including his first USHL hat trick during a 7-1 victory over Des Moines on January 11th. The Trenton, Michigan native will play college hockey at Princeton University.
Vinni Lettieri (F), Lincoln Stars
The Excelsior, Minnesota native paced the Stars offense in his first full USHL season with a team-leading 28 goals. He added 28 assists to finish second on the team in scoring with 56 points. All but two of his goals were scored at even strength, tying for third in the USHL with 26 even strength tallies. He twice put together seven-game point streaks, and he recorded five multi-goal games, two of which were hat tricks – February 2nd vs. Des Moines and April 12th vs. Tri-City. He also finished second on the Stars with a plus-29 rating. He will play college hockey at the University of Minnesota.
Nick Schmaltz (F), Green Bay Gamblers
The 17-year-old is the youngest member of the All-Rookie Team. He played all 64 regular season games for the Gamblers and put up 52 points (18g, 34a). At one point during the season, he netted the game-winning goal in three consecutive games for Green Bay and led the team with five game-winners for the season. The Verona, Wisconsin native recorded his first USHL career hat trick on December 31st, completing the three-goal game by scoring in overtime of the 6-5 victory against Muskegon. Schmaltz is committed to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota.
Gavin Bayreuther (D), Fargo Force
The native of Canaan, New Hampshire totaled 33 points (9g, 24a) and a plus-eight rating in 60 regular season games. He tied for sixth overall among USHL defensemen in scoring. He began the season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before being acquired by the Fargo Force in December. The St. Lawrence University commit scored two goals, including the game-winner, in his first USHL career game on September 29th. In just his second game with Fargo, he tallied three points (1g, 2a). Bayreuther posted a career high plus-five rating in the 5-2 win over Sioux Falls on February 22nd.
Michael Brodzinski (D), Muskegon Lumberjacks
The native of Ham Lake, Minnesota led all USHL defensemen with 16 goals while ranking tied for sixth with 33 points (16g, 17a) over 61 regular season games. He scored a goal in his USHL debut on September 29th, a 6-3 win against Team USA. The defenseman put together a six-game point streak, tallying 10 points (4g, 6a) from November 16th-December 1st. Brodzinski, who turns 18 this month, was selected to compete in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January. He is committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota following his USHL career.
Gustav Olofsson (D), Green Bay Gamblers
A native of Sweden, the defenseman played all but one of the 64 regular season games for Green Bay and collected 23 points (2g, 21a) while posting a plus-11 rating. He dished out two assists in the first game of the season on September 28th. His first USHL career goal was the game-winner in the 5-2 victory against Muskegon on November 23rd. Twice this season he finished a game with a plus-four rating. Olofsson is a top prospect for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft and was selected by scouts to compete in the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He is committed to Colorado College.
Cal Petersen (G), Waterloo Black Hawks
Playing in his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa this season, the goaltender posted a 21-11-1 record. He ranked ninth in wins among USHL goaltenders and his .906 SV% ranked 10th in the League. He opened the season stopping all 25 shots he faced in the 2-0 win against Omaha on October 13th, one of three shutouts he earned this year. The 18-year-old finished the regular season winning each of his last six starts. Petersen was listed as fourth among all North American goaltenders in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft. He will play college hockey at the University of Notre Dame following his USHL career.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)